“Live Right and Find Happiness (Although Beer Is Much Faster),” Dave Barry’s latest book of essays, might be thin on page count, but it’s worth every penny when it comes to humor and insight.
Barry’s weekly essays in newspapers around the country have been missed by many for some time now, so it’s wonderful to see that he hasn’t stopped writing about our foibles and his somewhat unusual perspective on what makes us tick. And he’s able to do it while invoking out-loud laughter.
Parents will appreciate his concerns regarding his teenage daughter getting her learner’s permit and the various issues he sees regarding the drivers in the state of Florida where he lives. (According to his observations, being legally blind does not matter when it comes to having a driver’s license there.)
Barry’s wife, Michelle Kaufman, is a sportswriter for the Miami Herald, and thanks to her, he’s exposed to the joys and sorrows of soccer. He becomes jealous of star David Beckham’s good looks after he learns she’s going to interview him, and a trip to Brazil to watch the World Cup begins with fear about being robbed, thanks to the shady tour guides he studies in advance. Barry does an amazing job demonstrating why soccer is so beloved – yet not so much in the United States. He uses sarcasm to prove the game isn’t quite as boring as a non-fan would believe, and worthwhile even if your child isn’t playing in some youth league.
Barry’s heart and soul come across on the page even as he throws out another groan-inducing joke. Fans will love this, and newcomers not familiar with his work will find enjoyment as well.
Live Right and Find Happiness (Although Beer Is Much Faster)
G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 240 pages